Friday, June 11, 2010

Support Help for Heroes ...

and our troops in Afghanistan

Silksworth soldier's Becks surprise
Sunderland Echo
Published Date: 10 June 2010
By Ross Robertson

(left) Dan Herron and David Beckham during his recent surprise visit to the troops in Helmand, Afghanistan.

This is serviceman Dan Herron's goal-den moment.
The 19-year-old Army mechanic met David Beckham when the former England captain visited troops in Afghanistan.

Mum Rachel Watson, 40, from Silksworth said: "Dan said he was really cool. He said he put the Army uniform on and made it look cool."

Dan is serving with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, attached to the Duke of Lancaster Regiment in Shawqat, Helmand Province, one of the bases to get a visit from the football legend.Dan, a former Venerable Bede pupil, signed up when he was 16 and trained at Harrogate before going to Bordon, Hampshire, to learn specialist skills.

"I'm very proud of him, but it is a worry," said Rachel, who also has an 11-year-old daughter, Elise.
"He's a mechanic so he's been sorting the vehicles out. He's been out a few times to recover vehicles that have been blown up by IEDs (improvised explosive devices), but I don't like to think about that."

Rachel, who works as a PA to her brother, parking campaigner and businessman Neil Herron, said the family was involved in raising money for Help for Heroes to show support for Dan and his comrades. She recently raised £200 for the charity by asking for donations instead of gifts on her 40th birthday."It's a great charity and I fully support it, but I don't think we should have to raise money to help our lads – it should be done automatically."It shouldn't need a charity, the Government should do it."

Neil, Dan's uncle, is taking on a series of challenges for Help for Heroes, including the British Gas Great North and Great Scottish one-mile swims, as well as the Bupa Great North Sunderland 10k run next month.

He said: "The dedication of Dan and the rest of the boys is the reason why I chose Help for Heroes as the charity for the two swims and Sunderland 10k."

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